Edward H. Herzbaum a.k.a. Hartry

Edward Herzbaum

Edward ‘Edek’ Herzbaum Hartry 1920-1967. Architect, Artist and Diarist.

Edward was born in Vienna to secular Polish Jewish parents. The family moved back to Poland in the 1930’s and after his father’s death Edward and his mother settled in Lodz. Edward enrolled to study architecture in Warsaw.

When WWII started in September 1939, Edward volunteered to join the army, was captured by the Germans, managed to escape, and made his way to Lwow in south-eastern Poland to avoid re-arrest. In June 1940 he was arrested by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, and like more than a million other men, women and children was deported in cattle trucks to remote parts of the Soviet Union where they were put into brutal labour camps.

In June 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union with the result that these prisoners were freed and amnestied and became allies against Germany.

Once freed these emaciated and sick people had to make the long harrowing journey south to Central Asia to join the Polish Army forming there.

After recovering their health and strength this Polish army in exile fought with the British Army against the Germans, most notably at the Battle of Monte Cassino.

Extraordinarily Edward managed to keep a diary throughout this journey. His daughter found the journals, together with many paintings and drawings, after her mother’s death in 2002, and after translation, published them as ‘Lost Between Worlds’.

Original diaries